Mercer County Community College

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Mercer County Community College
Mercer County Community College Logo.jpg
TypeCommunity College
PresidentDr. Jianping Wang
Academic staff
ColorsGreen and Gold    
NicknameThe Vikings

Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is a public, community college in Mercer County, New Jersey. More than 7,000 students enroll in one or more credit courses each year.[1][2]

Established in 1966, MCCC has an open-door admission policy. The 292-acre (1.18 km2) West Windsor Township Campus was opened in 1971 to serve the needs of Mercer County residents. The main buildings on campus feature brutalist architecture, popular in 1960s college campus construction. The continually expanding James Kerney Campus, located in the heart of New Jersey's capital city, Trenton, serves as an educational and cultural hub for urban residents.[3]

MCCC is particularly well known for its student newspaper, athletics, performing arts, and Honors programs all of which have sent students to top transfer schools, including R1 and Ivy Leagues. Many athletes have gone onto NCAA Division 1 schools and major league or professional teams. Notable alumni include Trey Anastasio founder and lead vocalist for Phish, Heath Fillmyer pitch for the Kansas City Royals, and Kenneth R. Rosen, reporter for The New York Times.[4][5][6]

The college offers continuing education classes and more than 60 different degree bearing options from transfer ready Liberal Arts degrees to hands-on offerings such as Automotive Technology and Hospitality. Several programs, such as Funeral Service and Aviation Technology, are the only ones of their kind offered at a public institution in the state of New Jersey. Medical programs such as Nursing and Radiography require application for admission and students must past licensure exams to complete.[7]

As an open enrollment college, the student body of MCCC is known for reflecting the diverse county around it. In terms of racial diversity, it is 37% white, 26% black, and 26% Hispanic, 10% are mixed race, and 4% are international students. The student body is 52.6% female. While 45% of students are in the typical junior college age range of 18–20 years old, there are a significant number of "non-traditional" aged students. More than 8% of students are age 40 and up.[2] MCCC also has a program for students with intellectual disabilities, known as the DREAM program, allowing them to be integrated into mainstream classes with support from mentors through the Academic Student Resources division.[8]

Honors Program[edit]

Established in 2006, MCCC's Honors program offers course sections across the curriculum that give academically strong students opportunities for greater challenge. Honors classes feature smaller, seminar-style classes. Students are encouraged to lead discussion and the pace and depth of learning is generally more vigorous than in standard sections. Students participate in annual Honors Conferences.[9] Depending on the number of Honors courses they have completed, students may receive an Honors cord at graduation and recognition on their transcripts. In addition to state schools like Rutgers and The College of New Jersey, Honors Program students are known for gaining admission to other transfer schools.[10]

Performing arts[edit]

MCCC has a 385 seat on-campus community performing arts center, Kelsey Theatre, which hosts local production company performances as well as student plays and musicals throughout the year.[11][12] Typically twenty or more different full length productions are performed per year with additional summer series and a kids program known as Tomato Patch.[13][11][14]

The academic Theatre and Dance programs include an Associate of Fine Arts programs for students intending to move directly into performing arts careers, and an Associates of Arts degree track for students seeking transfer to four-year colleges.[15][16] The Theatre program is also home to the college's Drama Club, which produces Late Night Series, a twice-monthly open-mic night on campus.[17]

In 2019 the student production of “Desires of a Criminal, a Devised Theatrical Collage" was selected to appear at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).[18]

Student Newspaper[edit]

Students from The College VOICE at MCCC win 18 awards from the New Jersey Press Foundation in 2019.

The College VOICE student newspaper at MCCC is known as one of the top state and national papers in its division. With a staff size that fluctuates from 4 to 15 students per semesters, The VOICE is known for its award-winning investigative reporting and coverage of local news events not being covered as area papers have gone under or faced major staff cuts in the last 15 years.[19][20][21]

The paper, originally founded in 1968 and named after the famed Village Voice newspaper in New York, has faced occasional hiatuses, but since 2008 has seen a redevelopment with two new media advisers and expanded connection to the college's journalism classes.[22]

The VOICE earned the General Excellence top award from the New Jersey Press Foundation in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019.[23] In 2010 The VOICE was named Best All-Around Non-Daily Two Year newspaper in the nation in the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards. Since that time the two-year division has been discontinued but The VOICE has gone on to win and place 25 times in the Mark of Excellence Region 1 awards and has earned 6 national finalist awards competing against four-year colleges.[24]

The newspaper of Mercer County Community College is known for a diverse staff that mirrors the diversity of the campus population.

In 2010 The VOICE, which produces print editions every three weeks throughout the academic year, added an online edition that includes breaking news and multimedia content. The website won top honors from the New Jersey Press Foundation in 2018 and 2019.[22][23][25][26]

The VOICE is open to all students on campus and the staff composition mirrors the racial, ethnic, political, sexual, religious, and socio-economic diversity on campus.[27] While most participants are not seeking careers in journalism, many go into writing and communication fields. VOICE alumni have gone on to jobs at media outlets including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek Mexico, and NBC 7 San Diego.[6][28][29]

DREAM Program[edit]

MCCC has a program to offer students with intellectual disabilities access to college education. In 2005 the college received a grant of $150,000 from Steve Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, to help establish the DREAM (Developing Real Expectations for Achieving Mastery) program. Riggio and wife Laura have two daughters with Down Syndrome.[30] Run by the Academic Student Resources division located on the West Windsor Campus, students in the program are assisted by mentors.[8]


MCCC is a member of the Garden State Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and plays in Region XIX Division II. Its teams are known as the Mercer Vikings.[31] It fields teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's lacrosse, and men's and women's tennis.[31]

Although MCCC has had strong seasons in all its sports, it is known for strength in soccer, baseball and softball. All three teams, men's soccer, baseball and softball, won Region XIX Division II Championships in the 2017-2018 season.[32] The Vikings have sent several players to the Major League Baseball including Dave Gallagher, and Heath Fillmyer..[5][33][34]

In 2018 MCCC added a men's lacrosse team that took the Region XIX championship in its first season of play.[35]

High school connections[edit]

Some high school students can take credit bearing classes at MCCC through one of several programs. Participation is limited to students given permission by their high school and who meet admissions criteria including standardized test scores. These options can enable students to accelerate their college graduation by allowing them to enter their freshman year with advanced academic standing.[36]

There are two concurrent enrollment options, the first being Dual Enrollment which is for high school seniors. The second is Jump Start for students age 16 and up with written recommendation of their guidance counselor and/or legal guardian.[36] Jump Start students have specific GPA standards that must be maintained to stay in the program and they may take no more than two classes per semester, whereas Dual Enrollment students can take more. Students in both programs have to provide their own transportation, pay course fees, and attend consistently based on the college's academic calendar even if it does not correspond to their high school calendar.[36]

Career Prep is another high school program offered in partnership with Mercer County Technical Schools. Students attend their regular school in the morning then go to MCCC for afternoon classes.[37][38][39] Students in the Career Prep program take two courses in each term, fall and spring, for a total of 12 credits. The program is open to students with strong GPAs, typically 3.25 or above, from sending public schools, and is designed for those looking for advancement in specific fields including:[37]

  • Business Foundations
  • Computer Systems & Networking Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dance
  • Fire Science Technology / Emergency Medical Technology
  • Landscape Design & Horticulture
  • Professional Cooking
  • Radio & Television Production
  • Theatre/Drama
  • Vocal Music

University Center[edit]

Five universities offer programs on MCCC's campuses for students having completed their Associate's degrees who wish to stay on-site to earn their Bachelor's and even Master's degrees. Students who choose to pursue their academic work through the University Center can be assured smooth transfer and pay lower tuition than they would at their university's primary campuses, however, degree options are fewer and many courses are offered online only.[40] In fall of 2018 MCCC broke ground on a new University Center building on the West Windsor, New Jersey campus.[41][42]

Guaranteed Transfer Admission[edit]

Previously known as the "Dual Admissions" program, the Guaranteed Transfer Admission program consists of specialized transfer agreements guaranteeing admission to specific four-year colleges and universities. Each agreement has slightly different requirements and allowed majors. Students can transfer into the junior year at most New Jersey colleges, including: Rutgers University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, William Paterson University, Stockton University, and Thomas Edison State College. There are also out of state guaranteed admission programs including ones at Temple University, Wilmington University, University of the Sciences, and James Madison University.[43]


The college is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is authorized by the State of New Jersey's Commission on Higher Education to award associate degrees. Many academic programs are also accredited by national professional associations and their boards of certification.[44]

The nursing program is accredited by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.[45] The Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology and approved by the New Jersey Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners.[46] The Medical Laboratory Technology program is accredited by the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. The Physical Therapist Assistant program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association.[46]

The Legal Assistant program is approved by the American Bar Association. The Funeral Service program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.[47] Aviation Flight Technology is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (formerly the Council on Aviation Accreditation).[48]

MCTV 26[edit]

Mercer County Television (MCTV) channel 26 is an Educational-access television station in West Windsor, New Jersey, United States, owned and operated by Mercer County Community College. The Student television station is transmitted to all of Mercer County, New Jersey, via cable TV channel 26 on the Comcast, Cablevision, reaching up to 90,000 households. In January 2009, MCTV became available on Verizon FiOS channel 20 in Mercer County.[49]


WWFM: The Classical Network is owned by MCCC and broadcasts on 89.1 MHz (HD Radio) from the West Windsor, New Jersey campus. WWFM-HD2 is "JazzOn2", which runs a traditional Jazz format. WWFM-HD3 is "Viking 89", MCCC student radio. WXPN's XPoNential Radio service airs on the HD3 when Mercer students are not on the air. "JazzOn2" is also on the HD2 channel of WWNJ. WWFM also broadcasts in the Philadelphia market on digital (HD) radio on 89.5 HD2.[50]

The station is known for programs featuring opera, symphonic music, jazz, and musical theater. Well known programs include Between the Keys, PostClassical, The Well Tempered Baroque, and The Dress Circle. The station has won several ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Radio Broadcast Award as well as a National Federation of Community Broadcasters Silver Reel Award for the program The Dress Circle.[51][52]

Clubs and government[edit]

MCCC is home to a wide variety of clubs and student activities boards.[53]

  • Student Government Association
  • The College VOICE - student newspaper
  • Rainbow Coalition (LGBTQ+)
  • Hospitality
  • Caribbean Vibes
  • African Students Association
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Alpha Mu Gamma
  • Chess Club
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Skaters
  • Criminal Justice
  • Drama Club
  • Future Teachers Club
  • Go Green Club
  • International Student Organization
  • Music Club
  • Muslim Student Association (MSA)
  • Phi Beta Lambda
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Philosophy Club
  • Programs for Academic Services and Success Club
  • Viking 89 Radio Station

Notable alumni[edit]

Trey Anastasio playing an acoustic set with Phish at Festival 8 in Indio, CA at the Empire Polo Club, 2009.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Community Colleges in New Jersey". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  2. ^ a b "State of NJ - Office of the Secretary of Higher Education". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  3. ^ "Mercer County Community College - The History of MCCC". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  4. ^ a b "Tom Marshall On Phish: It Was 30 Years Ago Today". Jambands. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  5. ^ a b c Fisher, Rich. "Former local standout Heath Fillmyer 'extremely grateful' to play for Royals", The Trentonian, June 22, 2018. Accessed June 25, 2018. "Since being called up to the Royals Monday night, Heath Fillmyer has yet to scale a Major League pitching mound in the heat of battle.... It matters not to the former Florence High/Mercer County Community College standout that Kansas City has lost nine straight as it begins a weekend series with the Astros Friday night."
  6. ^ a b "Kenneth R. Rosen - The New York Times". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  7. ^ "Mercer County Community College - Degree Programs". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  8. ^ a b "Mercer County Community College - Disability Services - Center for Inclusion, Transition and Accessibility". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  9. ^ "Student-Led Honors Conference Focuses on Current and Future Challenges for Millennials". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  10. ^ "Mercer County Community College - Honors Program". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  11. ^ a b "Kelsey Theatre - About Kelsey Theatre". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  12. ^ "A Look At The 2019-20 Season At The Kelsey Theatre". 2019-07-31. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  13. ^ "Kelsey Theatre - Kelsey Theatre History". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  14. ^ "Tomato Patch at Kelsey Theatre". Tomatopatch. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  15. ^ "MCCC - Theatre". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  16. ^ "A Wealth of Opportunities Await Students in MCCC Dance Program". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  17. ^ "Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Introduction and Academics - West Windsor, NJ - West Windsor, NJ". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  18. ^ Content, Submitted (2019-12-27). "An original Mercer County Community College play selected for theater festival". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  19. ^ Desk, Star-Ledger Continuous News (2008-12-03). "Gannett cuts 206 jobs at six N.J. newspapers". nj. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  20. ^ Somaiya, Ravi (2014-04-03). "New Jersey's Largest Newspaper Announces Big Staff Cuts in Reorganization". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  21. ^ Staff, Star-Ledger (2014-04-03). "Star-Ledger cuts 167 jobs, including 40 newsroom positions". nj. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  22. ^ a b "ABOUT – The College VOICE". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  23. ^ a b "New Jersey Press Foundation". New Jersey Press Foundation. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  24. ^ "Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced in Boston". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  25. ^ "Awards – The College VOICE". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  26. ^ "Awards Season for MCCC's College Voice Student Newspaper". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  27. ^ "VOICE Alumni – The College VOICE". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  28. ^ "Forbidden Trade overcomes 15-1 odds to win Hambletonian - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  29. ^ "La carrera por 2020: Trump y O'Rourke se miden en mítines en El Paso". Newsweek México (in Spanish). 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  30. ^ Kaufman, Leslie (2006-11-05). "'Just a Normal Girl'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  31. ^ a b MCCC Athletics. Mercer County Community College official website. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  32. ^ "NJCAA Region XIX - Championship Information". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  33. ^ a b "Dave Gallagher Stats". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  34. ^ "James Pugliese". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  35. ^ "NJCAA Region XIX - 2019-20 Men's Lacrosse". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  36. ^ a b c "Mercer County Community College - Concurrent Enrollment, High School". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  37. ^ a b "Mercer County Community College - Career Prep Program". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  38. ^ "Guidance Office / MCTS: Votech and Career Prep". http. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  39. ^ "Career Prep Courses | MCTS". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  40. ^ "Mercer County Community College - Transfer Services". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  41. ^ Trentonian, For The. "MCCC breaks ground on University Center". The Trentonian. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  42. ^ "Mercer County Community College Breaks Ground on University Center". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  43. ^ "Mercer County Community College - Transfer Services". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  44. ^ "State of NJ - Office of the Secretary of Higher Education". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  45. ^ "Mercer County Community College (MCCC)". allnurses. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  46. ^ a b "Mercer County Community College | Council for Higher Education Accreditation". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  47. ^ "ABFSE Directory of Programs - New Jersey". American Board of Funeral Service Education. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  48. ^ "Detailed List of AABI Accredited Programs". Aviation Accreditation Board International. August 1, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  49. ^ Glavin, Chris (2018-09-26). "Mercer County Television (MCTV 26) | K12 Academics". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  50. ^ "About WWFM". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  51. ^ "46th Annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor, Virgil Thomson Awards Announced". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  52. ^ "NFCB Names 'Golden Reel' Winners". Radio World. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  53. ^ "Mercer County Community College - Student Clubs". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  54. ^ "Phish Pranks Throughout The Years". JamBase. 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  55. ^ Hoppes, Lynn (November 30, 2012). "Antron Brown's path to history wasn't easy". ESPN Playbook. ESPN. Retrieved December 21, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°15′14″N 74°39′11″W / 40.254°N 74.653°W / 40.254; -74.653